The NHL league office is a mockery.
07:03 PHI Richards (17), (Knuble, Gagne)
17:55 TB Prospal (13), (Ranger)(PP)
08:05 PHI Jones (2), (Richards, Carle)(PP)
14:41 PHI Richards (18), (Lupul, Jones)
07:59 PHI Carter (31), (Hartnell, Timonen)
10:47 PHI Hartnell (18), (Vaananen, Niittymaki)
13:08 PHI Carter (32), (unassisted)
What do you do when the league won't even allow you to compete? What do you do when you know that any borderline call and Toronto will go get on the phone and rule against you? I am amazed the NHL still hasn't gotten egg all over their face yet for the obvious bias and conflict of interest their decision a few seasons ago to move video replay to a "war room" in Toronto, and the subsequent effect it's had on the objectivity of the video officiating. It's been, what, four seasons now? And, the next borderline call that goes the Lightning's way will be the first. Two nights. Three video goal reviews. Every single damned one of them went against the Lightning.
In the first period, Mark Recchi may have kicked a puck in front of him which he whacked at and touched before it crossed the goal line. It wasn't obvious on video but the audio very clearly registered the sound of Recchi's stick hitting the puck. The goal was called good on the ice by the referee, but the decision was overturned by Toronto, despite a lack of conclusive evidence. In the third period Steven Stamkos batted a puck in on a rebound off Philly's goaltender Antero Nittymaki. The goal was immediately disallowed on the ice as batted in by a stick above the crossbar. This time? Toronto hides behind a lack of conclusive evidence and upholds what the referee's original call was. Same game. Same refs. Same video goal "war room." And the exact opposite calls. The other constant? Both were goals that would've been huge for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Waved off. And, every single person who has followed the Lightning in the past four seasons knew what the outcome of the review would be long before the ref hung up the phone. I mean, hell, 6'9" Zdeno Chara could whack a puck in with a high stick at his eye level three seasons ago and it counted in Toronto's eyes because it was against the Lightning, but 6'1" Steven Stamkos, standing legs apart lower to the ice for balance, bats a puck in at around shoulder height and it's "inconclusive." It's become a joke. They might as well name Vince McMahon the NHL's comissioner at this point.
Steve Downie had 2 penalty minutes, 2 shots, and 3 hits in 11:25. He would've had a helper had Stamkos' goal counted, but that was before Toronto got involved.
Matt Smaby had 2 shots and 2 hits in 13:45. It's striking how comfortable he has looked in these past two games. Have I mentioned I think this league is a joke?
David Koci got in a fight and had 1 blocked shot in 4:08. I wish he'd go to Toronto and slug every biased nitwit manning the "war room."
Now, don't get me wrong. There's no telling how the game might've turned out had either of the goals counted. Antero Nittymaki played a great game, stopping breakaways by Jeff Halpern and Marty St. Louis and a subsequent penalty shot by Marty St. Louis. There's no guarantee a 2-1 Lightning lead would've led to a Lightning victory or that the Lightning cutting a third period deficit to 3-2 would've led to a Lightning comeback. The point is, the league did not even allow the Lightning to compete in this game. They didn't allow the Lightning to have a chance. There was only one outcome possible to this game thanks to Toronto, and that was a victory by Philadelphia. And, that's a farce.
Smolenak is back, and in a big way.
Mike McKenna allowed 1 goal on 44 shots for the win.
NOR Smolenak, (13) (Segal, Gratton), 9:44
NOR Bochenski, (16) (Lundin, Keller), 2:56
NOR Smolenak, (14) (Gratton), 3:07
ALB Dwyer, (11) (Carson, Petruzalek), 7:42 (PP)
NOR Smolenak, (15) (Gratton, Mihalik), 11:13
Norfolk moves to 3 games under .500.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 1 @ Shawinigan Cataractes 4
D Michael Ward, CB: 0-0-0, E, 4 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 49 GP, 5-20-21, +2, 79 PIM
With Cape Breton: 14 GP, 1-7-8, +1, 27 PIM
50 shots on goal for the Admirals tonight.
Mike McKenna allowed 4 goals on 33 shots for the win.
ALB Paiement, (1) (Samson, Dodge), 6:03 (PP)
ALB Jensen, (6) (Angelidis, Flood), 9:51
NOR Keller, (7) (Quick, Konopka), 11:37
NOR Bochenski, (14) (Keller, Konopka), 13:06
NOR Rosehill, (3) (Kearns, Lundin), 5:25
ALB Helminen, (11) , 18:49
NOR Konopka, (11) (Jones, Lundin), 6:06 (PP)
NOR Bochenski, (15) (Jones, Keller), 6:48
ALB Weston, (4) (Samson, Borer), 11:43
The Ads pull back to 4 games under .500 and 13 points out of the final playoff spot.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
It really hurts when you outplay a team but you don't get the bounces.
Mike Smith allowed 3 goals on 31 shots for the loss.
16:55 TB Recchi (11), (unassisted)
05:34 CAR Larose (11), (Cullen)(SH)
18:36 CAR Cullen (11), (Pitkanen)
05:10 TB Malone (15), (Recchi, Downie)
18:24 CAR Staal (21), (Samsonov, Gleason)
The really bad news is that Florida is in the process of smoking Montreal tonight, so the Lightning will wake up tomorrow 10 points out of 8th place.
Steve Downie had 1 assist, 1 shot, and 1 hit in 9:59.
Matt Smaby was +1 with 2 hits in 9:59, and played really well for a guy who was a late decision to play tonight.